Nitedals Hjelpestikker (Norwegian Matches)

Nitedals Hjelpestikker is the classic brand of matches in Norway. Nitedal is the name of a place ("Nite Valley") and Hjelpestikker basically means "help-sticks", or "helping-matches". So why "help-sticks"?

Ever since 1922, when it was founded, the Hjepestikkerfondet (Yes, "The Helping Stick Fund") has donated money to charity in Norway. To date, the fund has donated 46 million Norwegian Kroner to different organizations. That is about US$ 5'000'000 when calculating with the value of the Norwegian Kroner today. However, I believe the actual sum must be far greater, as the Kroner was worth a great deal more earlier. Not bad for a business company selling matches in a small country like norway.

The facinating thing about Nitedas is that they give three ore (the norwegian eqwivalent to cents) for each box of matches. To thereby earn Kr 46 million they must have sold over 1533333333 matchboxes since 1922. Also, with an average of 45 matches in each box, this means that every time a Norwegian lights a match, he will in fact be donating Kr.0,00067 to charity. Think about that next time you light your pipe.

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